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AfricaMoney | October 19, 2017

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FM speak: How their budget speeches stack up

FM speak: How their budget speeches stack up

On the eve of Budget 2014, let’s reflect on some key thoughts of finance ministers holding the reins of the island economy across the last 10 years (Image: Government of Mauritius)

On the eve of Budget 2014, Africa Money brings you interesting quotes from budget speeches by Mauritius’ finance ministers over the last decade. The budget exercise may be largely about numbers, but people’s expectations and the broader economic context of the global economy cannot be left out of this key financial document. Also, the ideology of the party in power – ranging from neo-liberalism to socialist – cannot help but influence the policy document that will determine the future agenda of economic growth for the nation. So, let’s reflect on some key thoughts of finance ministers holding the reins of the island economy across the last 10 years:

“Today, we see a world that is split – the West is struggling, the East is rising and Africa is awakening. And Mauritius is centered in a golden triangle of growth, linking the Middle East, Asia and Africa,”

-         Xavier Luc-Duval, Budget 2013 themed ’Rising to the challenges of a world in transition’

 “As the saying goes, ‘it is only when it is dark that you can see the stars’. Even in difficult times, opportunities will open up. We shall seize them. We shall seize them to create more wealth for our country and a better life for all our citizens.”

-         Xavier Luc-Duval, Budget 2012 themed ‘Growth for the greater good’

Now is the time to move from the legacy of a development strategy that is too euro-centric. As the world moves to a new multi-polarity of growth, as major countries in Europe recalibrate their policies, it is inevitable and indeed an imperative that we also rebalance our own economy.”

-         Pravind Jugnauth, Budget 2011 themed ‘Rebalancing growth – consolidating social justice’

“But development is an unending process. The job of a reformer is never done. We will continue on that journey next year and in the years ahead. And we will do so with even greater conviction that the new development model we have built can weather every storm and take us to greater heights of sustainable socio-economic achievements.”

-         Ramakrishna Sithanen, Budget 2010 themed ‘Shaping recovery, consolidating social progress and sustaining green Mauritius’

“It was in that spirit of serving the nation and securing a more prosperous country for our children that three years ago, when the economy was stumbling into a self- reinforcing decline, we set out to turn it around. We also pledged to implement a development strategy that shares the fruits of economic growth more widely and more equally.”

-         Ramakrishna Sithanen, Budget 2009 themed ‘Building an attractive, modern, inclusive, green, open Mauritius’

“Ireland, China and India’s example makes it conventional wisdom that the nations that do best are those that open to the world, shun protectionism, embrace global competitiveness, welcome foreign investment, attract foreign talents and skills and run flexible labour markets.”

-         Ramakrishna Sithanen, Budget 2008 themed ‘Consolidating the transition and securing full employment’

“We have reached the end of an economic cycle. A cycle based on trade preferences that has allowed our country to make significant progress since independence. We have used these trade preferences and also overseas development assistance well. However, the world has changed and we have not adapted.”

-         Ramakrishna Sithanen, Budget 2007 themed ‘Securing the transition: From trade preferences to global competition’

“They (the population) wanted us to put our country on a higher development path, to secure a better future for themselves and their children, and to build a fairer and safer society for all. That was the mandate the population gave us. That was the mission we set out to accomplish.”

-         Pravind Jugnauth, Budget 2006 (focused on the long term vision of transforming Mauritius from a middle-income to a high-income economy)

“Our population also must stand prepared – for it is the level of knowledge, skills and dedication of our work force that will determine the growth path. And it is the ability and willingness of more Mauritians to become entrepreneurs that will sustain economic progress.”

-         Pravind Jugnauth, Budget 2005 (focused on further democratizing the economy, boosting private investment and employment creation and strengthening and reforming public institutions)

“This Budget is set against an international climate marred by a succession of disturbing events.  The corporate world has been shaken by accounting scandals on a scale never witnessed before.  Stock markets the world over have recorded massive losses and concern for security has deepened pessimism and heightened uncertainty.”

-         Paul R. Bérenger, Budget 2004, (focused on creating a more friendly business environment, speeding up the restructuring of key sectors, providing opportunities for self-enhancement and fostering a more inclusive society).

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